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Dodgers' hot-hitting Puig remains in platoon

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' hottest hitters at Dodger Stadium this month, but that won't prevent him from platooning with Josh Reddick.

"Both guys feel they should be in the lineup every day, and I completely understand that, but if you look up and down our roster, a lot of guys can make that case," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It's a challenge in the sense of juggling the playing time and keeping everyone interested, but it is a luxury in the sense that I can match guys up and put them, individually, in the best chance to have success.

"They're both productive offensively, and they both can defend."

The left-handed-hitting Reddick got the start Thursday against Colorado Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood. Reddick went 1-for-4 with an RBI and also committed an error in Los Angeles' 7-4 win in the opener of a four-game series.

With the Rockies starting two more right-handers Friday and Saturday, Reddick is expected to get the nod for both games. Roberts wouldn't tip his hand, but all indications are that Puig won't start until Sunday, when Colorado southpaw Tyler Anderson will be on the hill.

Puig drilled a three-run home run in the first inning of the Dodgers' 9-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. It was his 11th homer of the season.

Since being recalled Sept. 2 after a demotion to Triple-Oklahoma City, Puig is 8-for-20 (.400) with three home runs, a double and eight RBI in eight games at Dodger Stadium. Puig, who went 1-for-1 with a walk Thursday after entering as a seventh-inning pinch hitter, is batting .256 with 43 RBI on the year.

He also has been a model teammate since his return.

"I think the demeanor on and off the field has been consistent in that he's understanding that it's more than about himself, it's about the team," Roberts said. "He's done everything we've asked of him. I've said it before. All the credit goes to him."

Reddick got off to a slow start offensively after the Dodgers acquired him and left-hander Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline.

Reddick batted .161 with no home runs and one RBI in 87 at-bats in August. However, in the past 15 games, Reddick is hitting .367 with a home run. Overall, Reddick is batting .248 with a homer and four RBI in 41 games with the Dodgers.

Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA) will try to keep the Dodgers quiet offensively as he gets the start Friday for Colorado. In his most recent start, Gray registered a franchise-record 16 strikeouts in a complete-game, 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Gray is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers, including a 2-1 mark and a 3.27 ERA in four starts this year. The 24-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA) will oppose Gray. Kazmir will pitch for the first time since Aug. 22 at Cincinnati, where he allowed four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings but did not factor in the decision in the Dodgers' 18-9 victory.

The 32-year-old left-hander spent the past month on the disabled list due to neck inflammation.

In three career starts against the Rockies, Kazmir is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA. This year vs. Colorado, he is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA.

The first-place Dodgers (87-66) own a six-game lead on the second-place San Francisco Giants (81-72) in the National League West with nine games remaining. The Dodgers, who have won two in a row, have a magic number of four.

The Rockies (73-80) are 1/3 in their past four games.
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